Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If you keep making that face

When a person is angry, he or she is no longer open to hearing another view. Anger is a way of trying to have control over getting one's way. They don't want to hear the other's feelings, explanations, lectures, or logic. When they are angry, they may have no feelings of caring about the other person - they just want to control the person or the situation.

Most people, when yelled at, attacked, accused, or blamed, get triggered into defending and explaining - hoping to change the angry person's mind. It is as if the angry person has thrown out a hook and you bite. If it is someone who knows exactly what to say to you that hooks you into engaging in the conflict.

Yet engaging is exactly what feeds the flames. To diffuse the anger, you need to disengage. Disengaging means that you completely unhook yourself from the conflict.

Disengaging does not mean that you walk away in anger, muttering under your breath about how bad and wrong the other person is and how he or she can't treat you this way. It does not mean that you rehearse over and over what you are going to say to them next time you talk. Or leave ridiculous myspace or away messages to get one more dig.

Get yourself out of range of attack without shutting down your compassion for yourself or the other person. You are helping yourself to not take the other person's behavior personally by telling yourself that this is not about you - it is about whatever is going on with the other person.

Or if not, you might end up looking like Sith Lord Palpatine.

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